1. othman
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    othman Member

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    Any nice myths or legends that you know of?

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by othman, Dec 9, 2008.

    Hi, I'm not sure if this is the correct place for this thread but in my opinion it's close enough. Have any of you head of any nice myths or legends or know where some would be? I'm asking this because i was watching Pom Poko (great film, studio ghibli) yesterday and it just inspired me as it is like a mix of an old legend (that raccoons can transform and are very intelligent) and a nowaday problem (Tokyo expanding and destroying forests - raccoon's habitat). But it is done so beautifully i wanted to find some good legends like that, but all i can find are some lame ones and the mainstream ones. Help please :) .
     
  2. Leaka
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    Leaka Creative Mettle

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    ...Legend of Arthur.
    A lot of Egyptian and Greek myth is good as well.
    Remus and Romulus how Rome came to be.
    How about Ra.
    But then again I don't know if these are enviromentally friendly.
    I'm sorry I'm not much help.
     
  3. Rei
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    Rei Contributing Member Contributor

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    Arthur is a tricky one to use these days because it's so popular, and there are already hundreds of stories about the characters. Greek mythology is also almost as tricky unless you're taking a story with a contemporary setting and inserting Greek gods. I'd suggest finding information of fairy lore and similar areas of mythology that don't have its roots in Ireland, England, and France. North American First Nations cultures have some interesting mythology.
     
  4. Mara
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    Mara New Member

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    There are a lot of shape shifters in North American native myths, as Rei said. I'm mostly familiar with some of the myths of west coast cultures (Haida, Tlingit) in which the raven plays a very central role. If you went to a library, you'd probably find some stuff there.
     
  5. jwilder
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    jwilder Member

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    Norse mythology is pretty interesting - lots of vengeful gods wearing fur capes and causing trouble. :) (as opposed to vengeful Greek gods wearing togas causing trouble...)

    What Hindu-based or other India civilization lore? I don't know any, other than the Blue Boy, and I don't even know if that's myth or a random story someone made up for the book I was reading.

    Plenty of Chinese mythology - tons of it, considering how old the civilization is. Browse through those myths and legends and I'm sure you'll find something.

    Other ideas:
    Aboriginal myths
    Ancient civilizations legends/myths/gods (Aztecs, Incas, etc)
    Slavic culture myths and legends
    Caribbean/Oceana lore (think Pirates of the Caribbean, ghost ships, tropical myths and spirits, etc)
    Voodoo - Louisiana bayou, etc.
     
  6. Marcelo
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    Marcelo Contributing Member

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    Or you can take elements from many mythologies. I love reading about mythologies and folklore, and I can tell you: The two most interesting for me are the Celtic and Norse Mythologies. You can also use English Folklore, Slavic legends, and as mentioned before Arthurian legend (a great one, imo.)

    I recommend you read the book Medieval Folklore: A Guide to Beliefs, Legends, Customs, Myths and Tales. It covers a wide range of myths, and it is pretty well written.
     
  7. ken90004
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    ken90004 Member

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    Some of my favorites are:

    The Luck Child
    Fearnot
    The True Bride.
    Sapsorrow
    The Solider and Death (this one was really good)

    The shape shifter theme was done by Dean Koontz, btw.
     
  8. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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  9. lordofhats
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    lordofhats Contributing Member

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    It's not mythology directly but you should watch some Hayao Miyazaki movies. He has a lot of films with environmental protection themes and often he achieves his narrative via Japanese myths and folklore. You might find Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind, Princess Mononoke, and Spirited Away particularly interesting. Watching, reading, and viewing how others achieve their ends i find is a great way to study how you yourself may wish to implement basic concepts of incorporation no matter what media form you look at.

    Also look into Folklore as there is a stark contrast between the academic applications of "folklore" and "myth" and it's hard to get both in just one place. I find that many elements of classical folklore have been untouched in favor of mythological references and if you're looking for some lesser known stories or tales from classical cultures researching folklores can help you find some less frequent material.
     
  10. Rei
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    Rei Contributing Member Contributor

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    Let me guess. You've seen Jim Henson's The Story Teller.
     
  11. ken90004
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    ken90004 Member

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    Yep. He is part of my movie collection. Wonderfully creative.
     
  12. tehuti88
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    tehuti88 Contributing Member

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    I adore anything from Ojibwa Indian mythology, myself. I write it into my fantasy all the time. Highly underused. All kinds of shapeshifting and monsters and nature spirits among us and magicians and talking animals and whatnot.

    However, as soon as you said "lame ones and mainstream ones," it kind of put me off, seeing as one person's concept of a "lame myth" will be fabulous to another. For example, I'm sick and tired of Japanese, Greco-Roman, and Celtic things. But I wouldn't call them "lame." Seems scads of other people find them far from mainstream.

    I guess it all depends on what you're looking for. *shrug* But it's par for the course to find themes that are used time and again and again in myths.
     
  13. othman
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    othman Member

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    to tehuti: fair enough, but what i meant by a lame myth is like some of Hercule's. If I remember rightly his main legend is going to fight the gorgon and in doing so meets the three sisters with only one eye and one tooth, just that story does not fire up my imagination. He sets off because of the evil king and the gods take pity on him and so he gets loads of cool stuff and just uses a mirrored shield to kill the most feared thing that their kingdom knew of...lame. And it's also a mainstream one as everyone knows it, and though gorgons could still be happily used, I just don't think you could use Hercules nor does it capture my imagination.

    to lord of hats: yeah, i know, they're great films aren't they? You can marvel at the animation and admire the plots and end up smiling happily. The only reason I hadn't seen Pom Poko was that no one I knew had it and so just by chance I saw it on film 4. w00t for Studio Ghibli and Co!
     
  14. lordofhats
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    lordofhats Contributing Member

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    First, Hercules is not lame. Hercules is an immortal archetype and you'll be hard pressed to find any piece of fiction that hasn't been touched in some form by his tale or the tales of similar characters. He's the classic muscle bound bad arse (he's like Jesus or Darth Vader). Second, not the story of Hercules:

    Gorgons: Very very ancient religious embodiments of ancient greece. Medusa is killed by Perseus as she is mortal while her sisters Euryale and Stheno are immortal. No Hercules, just Perseus. Third you pretty much described the plot of a really lame movie based on the tale that actually isn't a accurate depiction of the real myth.
     
  15. jwilder
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    jwilder Member

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    First, Hercules is not lame. ...He's the classic muscle bound bad arse (he's like Jesus or Darth Vader).

    OMG, this is hysterical! My coworkers think I'm nuts, sitting here laughing and spitting coffee on my keyboard!

    BTW Lordofhats,I love your signature quotes! They brighten my day! :)
     
  16. othman
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    othman Member

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    lord of hats don't take everything so literally, I was just trying to say what I meant, and clearly i failed miserably. Oh and I'm talking about writing now, you can't really base a story on Hercules and have it be successful nowadays.
     
  17. garmar69
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    garmar69 Contributing Member Contributor

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    So a super-strong heroic guy saving the day won't do well in modern times? I quess iron-man, spider-man, etc just doesn't work anymore... :p

    What you need to realize is this: Every era has a style of writing, back during ancient times people wrote about legends literally. You can modern-up any of the greek and roman legends to work now. Take the story of the cyclops and add an original twist based on current events and you would have a fine story. Matter of fact, that gives me an idea...
     
  18. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    LOH, you just scored a mad amount of KP (kewl points) with me. :D Anyone can rattle off Mononoke Hime, but not Naussica.

    <--- Loves Naussica. :cool:
     
  19. Rei
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    Rei Contributing Member Contributor

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    Why not? And how else are we supposed to take it when you say everything you found is lame? All those are a matter of opinion.
     
  20. lordofhats
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    lordofhats Contributing Member

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    Sweet kewl points :D. I can use these to buy a Fonzie jacket to match my comb :cool:.

    Naussica isn't my favorite but it's my top three for Hayao movies. I'm not sure which is my favorite (Mononoke or Spirited Away. There are aspects I love about both so they're stuck in an epic duel of dragons and giant wolves for my affection :cool:).

    As for Hercules it is indeed just opinions but you shouldn't boot Hercules or any famous archetype easily. These ancient tales form the basis of what has become out culture and many of our archetypes that have been used time and again in western literature come from the Ancient Greeks. Reading the old "lame" stuff so to speak, can help you today by understanding the foundations of character creation in world literature.
     
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  21. Scarecrow
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    one I've had (am having) fun with is "where do things go when they disappear?" I.e Flight 19 over the Bermuda Triangle, Amelia Earhart, etc. Another good one is the Selkies, they're more of a mythical creature than a myth. They're seals that turn themselves into humans, very popular in Icelandic, Irish, Scottish, and Faroese mythology.
     
  22. architectus
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    architectus Banned

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    There are a lot of shapeshifting myths in Native American mythology, as well as China. The Chinese have a cool myth about the emporers changing into dragons. India has the naga, which are snake people that can appear human. Native americans have the bird people, wolfe people, fox people, owl people, and so on. You can also look into European folklore as they have many shapeshifting legends.

    The Hindu Mahabharata should give you loads of ideas. It has some great love stories in it and some wild stories.

    Check our Norse mythology as well. LOTR is influenced by it.
     
  23. merlinthewitch
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    merlinthewitch New Member

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  24. perfectionist
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    perfectionist Member

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    On the other hand you can take a story about Odesyus - complete with a Cyclops - set in it modern times and have it be successful. O Brother Where Art Thou was quite a fun little film.

    ~Tom
     

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